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For your succesful university lifeThe second chapter of life: Campus Life

For your succesful university life
The second chapter of life: Campus Life

Most high school students study extremely hard for entering university.  Some students even study an additional 1 or 2 years to be a university student.  They eventually enter university with beautiful dream of campus life as they have seen in popular dramas or sitcoms.  Most university students have dreamed the previous scenes at least once in their lives. But what is the difference between realities and lives on movies and TV shows?
In case of Seoul National University (SNU), each year about 300 undergraduate students  leave school because of poor grades, suicide, voluntary dropout, and so on.  Furthermore, according to a research conducted by “Incruit”, a famous Korean Job web-site, only 40% of university students who are due to graduate this year are satisfied with their campus life.  There is a high chance that you are one of these people, or feel similarly dissatisfied.  You eat lunch or dinner alone at university unlike at high school.  You have been warned by your university about your poor grades.  You also feel so tired because of too many club activities or you have some other problems that make your university life away from the dream you were hoping it would be.  If you do not feel this way, maybe your friends do.  If you are a parent, maybe this is your child.  The worst thing is that there are no mentors to help the students in trouble.  To such students, I recommend to read The Second Chapter of Life: Campus Life.  This book can be a mentor for not only the troubled students but also other university students in Korea who want to make the most of their university experience.
This book was published in January, 2010 and it is written by Professor Gwon Seok-Man.  The author of this book has worked as a student counselor since 1993 and is a professor of Clinical Psychology at SNU.  The author wants to help university students, especially freshmen.  He wrote the book based on his own experiences.  This book contains helpful advice for having a successful campus life. 
The first part of the book contains various case studies from maladjusted university students.  These segments are based on the author’s own consulting experiences and may be very similar to your own.  For this reason, readers will be able to immerse themselves in this book more easily.  In addition, there is an analysis of each student case study and the author provides solutions that will help readers who are stricken with similar problems.  In short, this book can serve as an intimate friend and a mentor for all of its readers.
Many practical techniques and solutions are also available in this book.  Professor Kwon suggests useful techniques to solve university students’ problems in this book. For example, he talks about having good relationship with friends, and explains in great detail ways of setting up a strong base camp to build our relationships.  Additionally this book covers how to manage students’ allowances and gives practical advice of what they should do.
The book is very in depth and covers all of campus life. While most books only focus on students’ grades and test scores, this book covers everything from club activities, relationships between students and professors, and even includes a discussion about sexual relationships.  This is the reason why this book is more interesting and helpful for students.
Kwon said, when I interviewed him, that even though he only focused on students in his book, this problem is not only a student problem but also can be found in our larger society.  He also advised that universities should be fixed.  “The purpose of university is two: education and furthering research.  However, these days universities have focused only on the purpose of study to raise their university rankings, or have focused on employment problems.” He also insisted that each university president should feel more responsible for this problem, and should suggest solutions for solving the problems.  He added: “To solve this problem, students’ efforts and universities’ efforts must be combined.  First of all, universities have to improve more student services, such as mentor programs.  Currently, only employment consulting systems have been well provided for students’ but there is currently no good campus life consulting system.”
These days many students have not adjusted well to university life.  I am sure this book can be a great mentor for university students and it can give them useful advice.  In addition, parents may become more interested in their child’s life, and university officials may become more sympathetic with this problem than before.  In this regard, this book is worth reading not only for university students but also many people who are somehow related with university. It is the hope of Mr.Gwon that many students will get adapted to school life better through reading this book.

Choi deok  manasa1147@dgu.edu

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